Science

People Reveal Their Frightening Experiences With Sleep Paralysis

3. It’s only mildly disturbing. “This happens to me a few times a year, most recently last month. It used to really freak me out until… Trista - October 31, 2021
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3. It’s only mildly disturbing.

“This happens to me a few times a year, most recently last month. It used to really freak me out until I read about it – now it’s just mildly disturbing. As far as I understand (and from the experiences I’ve had), the brain is basically still asleep (with motor functions disabled). However, somehow fully conscious and processing the dream state overlayed on top of reality. It’s sort of a reality feedback loop. It mostly happens when I’m napping outside of my regular sleep schedule. I have to be lying in bed, but it happens when I’m on my back and side.”

Chroko has even more observations during sleep paralysis: “Usually I’m aware of somebody in the room (but they aren’t there when I wake up). I’ve only ever seen something once – I saw a Giger Alien (from the movie Aliens) on the ceiling directly above my bed, hissing at me. Once I could hear someone reading (pages turning), and their presence was strangely comforting – but I couldn’t see them. The worst part, though, is that when it happens, I always have to fight through and wake up – because I become conscious of my heartbeat and am terrified I’m going to die if I just go back to sleep.”

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2. The more you know, the more you can grow.

“I’ve not experienced it, but I’ve heard a number of people bring it up to me. I once saw it happening in 2006 when one of my roommates just wouldn’t wake up for class. He was lying on his back, eyes pretty much open, non-responsive. Later that day, he told us what had happened. I had a friend who converted to Christianity partly on the basis that he believed in spirits and demons (from sleep paralysis + native American beliefs). He’d had a number of traumatic sleeping incidents where he saw vivid hallucinations of girls in dresses, shadowy figures, the usual list of things you hear in sleep paralysis cases.”

“I revealed that to him and, among a few other things, it eventually convinced him to reconsider the validity of a lot of his superstitious beliefs. For many people, they just lack an obvious explanation for many phenomena that occur and seek out a higher power. Seriously though, just linking him to the Wikipedia article on sleep paralysis was eventually enough to break him of his spell before he got too into it. His personality has really returned since he got off the Jesus train.” huxtiblejones could more be supportive of his friend if he did have certain beliefs, but it is also good to have all the information needed. It was good of them to show him the information on sleep paralysis too.

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1. Controlling lucid dreams.

“Yes, four times that I can recall. The first two were immediately after the death of a relative and were accompanied by strong feelings of a presence in the room. If I were religious, I might have taken this as proof of an afterlife. Lucid dreams accompanied the third and fourth. The third time, I had the distinct feeling of floating out of my bed. As I regained from the paralysis and began to move, I believed I felt static discharge through my limbs and heard a buzzing, crackling sound. Hallucinations, of course. The lucid dream itself ended with a “game over” screen, which I thought particularly interesting.”

[deleted] continues: “The fourth time was intentional. I was able to remain conscious during the initial stages of sleep and enter REM into a lucid dream. There were no crazy hallucinations, just a feeling that I “sank” into my bed. The lucid dream itself wasn’t terribly exciting. However, I did note that it was in full color and seemed to start as a small rectangle in my field of vision. It was progressively expanding to become all I could “see.” I haven’t been able to control my lucid dreams much, although in one case, I made an evil robot disappear so that it wouldn’t kill me.”

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